The Upside of Down

May was a pretty rough month for me. I moved out of my group house and closed my garage gym. I broke my foot walking on uneven concrete. I turned 35. They say bad things come in threes...

Well then good things must come in threes, too, right?

They do. But change can be exhausting, life is hard and things don't always work as you planned. You have to pivot and continue pursuing your goals, making moves, and building for the future you want, using our talents to bless and help others.

Moving out and closing shop.

Ooff, that really sucked. I'll miss the Saturday group classes, deadlifts and doughnuts for the kids, the hanging out in the gym working on my craft, the neighbors, and the pups that'd hang with me. I still have my clients, but just drive my equipment to them to workout.

It was the best move for me though.

I ended up moving to a place more in the suburbs, which suits my lifestyle preferences a little more. It's slower paced, more room (the house I'm renting is on an acre of land), and easier to save money because it's harder to just walk up the street to a pub (which usually goes from a couple beers to going out). It is also more closely situated to the clientele I wish to serve -- high school athletes.

In addition, I took a job with a great local fitness company in Nashville (announcement coming soon!!). They're great coaches and even better people. I'm pumped to work with and learning from them. They also have a great network of other specialty coaches, where I can learn how to be a better sports performance coach -- all positives there! This job will be based in the suburbs near my new place. Badabing badaboom!!

Also, not having a physical location means I can plug into virtual coaching more. Honestly, virtual coaching is only going to grow. The better I get at that, the more I can help people.


So their I was, minding my own business, walking out of a store carrying a big box (to fix my jeep). I couldn't see there was a lip in the sidewalk and I was wearing some very loose fitting shoes, when WHAMMY, my foot rolled to the outside, I heard a loud pop, and I buckled to my right side, skinning my knee and crushing the box I was carrying. I shared a bunch of curse words with the parking lot as I walked around for several minutes. My foot swelled up immediately and over several days turned purple and all sorts of other colors.

Thinking it was a tendon that popped, I assumed the foot would be fine if I just don't use it as much, ice it, elevate it, and I'll be back in no time. Fast forward three weeks of trying to walk it off, I finally got an x-ray and confirmed I broke my fifth metatarsal (the bone that leads to the pinky toe, very important for walking, balance, let alone sprinting, jumping, being an athlete). I am in a boot for the next month and basically can't workout I usually do.


Rare Sighting: Squat Racks Empty

First of all, lots of people go to globo gyms! It gets busy! It's cool cuz I get to see what people do at gyms when they don't have a coach, when they don't know what to do, when they have to wait for equipment, when they're all wearing head phones and not talking.

How can I help people with coaching at big box gyms like Life Time Fitness, Gold's Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness? Here are some observations...

Lesson Learned: Develop a plan -- a good portion of people that go to these gyms don't really have a plan, they will hit the treadmill, then hit some "weights" (ie, whatever is open, but probably just dumbbell curls and presses), then head out after either they're satisfied with their workout or they're so anxious about not knowing what to do that they just leave.

Lesson learned: Equipment stacking -- absolutely crush a muscle group at one machine, using different paces, tempos, reps, hand placement, and range of motion to get optimal effect. If it's chest day, hit some sets at the bench press station, then go plant your flag on a moveable bench and do a ton of dumbbell work -- partial reps, dumbbell flies, negatives, single arm work, change the angle of the bench, maybe hit shoulders in there too, definitely finish up with some tricep work. That's a solid workout and you were at two different locations. You might irritate other people that you're occupying one bench for 45 minutes, but there are plenty to go around.

Lesson learned: Supply and demand -- some equipment is more popular than others. Find ways to use the less used equipment in different ways. Want to hit lat pull downs but the machine is full? Throw a band over a pull up bar and do band pull downs super setted with straight arm pull downs, then hit some barbell rows and med ball slams. Your lats, shoulder blades, and arms will be LIT up and you didn't have to go near the lat pull down machine.

Lesson learned: Variable programming for online clients -- instead of day-specific workouts (Monday is SQUAT DAY!!!), give them 4 different workouts that they need to get done for the week. If all the squat racks are taken up and they're supposed to do squat, then they have the flexibility to go hit back or chest or arms or whatever else is in there.

Lesson learned: Have better demo videos -- not only should form be emphasized, but intensity needs to be demonstrated as well. Sets to failure don't just mean "boy I'm tired" but, I can barely move the weight anymore. The intended stimulus won't be achieved if the work isn't demonstrated as well. So, building a better and more creative video library will be KEY.

These are all exciting observations that I'll put in my coaching moving forward.

T-Grip Pull Downs. Lats were destroyed.


YIKES. The big 35. Am I where I thought I'd be at this point? No, but I don't know if I really had a plan 10 or 15 years ago. Am I where I want to be? Absolutely, coaching, learning, growing, helping others live better lives. Am I happy? Yes.

Life is what you make it and I'm making moves day by day to make the life I want. I'm learning more and more about the need of sacrifice, of putting off near term pleasure for long-term fulfillment. Spending less than I have, taking a step back in business to take three steps forward in the future.

If I focus on the things I don't have, then I'll be unsettled and unfulfilled.

If I envision the things I WANT, and work the plan to get to those things, then I'll be fulfilled, grateful, and able to enjoy the present.

You aren't happy when you reach the destination, you're happy doing what it takes to reach the destination. You've got to love the process, love those around you, and be thankful for what you've got and the opportunities you're afforded.

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